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24               A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
forgotten Sphinx, which was buried up to its neck in the pitiless sands.
"The sand of tbe desert approaches me" cried its Spirit, "and I am sunken deep in it. Hasten! Cause to be done that which shall clear the sand away, then I shall know that thou art my son and my helper"
And after he awoke, Thothmes said to himself:
"The inhabitants of town and temple come to honour this god, but no one of them ever thinks of freeing his image from the sand/'
The relief drawings at the top of the stone stele show the king offering incense to the Sphinx and then follows the full story of history's most amazing dream and of its amazing consequences. The young Thothmes was still a prince when he was hunting with friends in the desert fringe near Gizeh.
"He was amusing himself upon the south roads," run the hieroglyphics, "shooting at a target of copper, hunting lions and wild animals of the desert, and racing in his chariot, his horses swifter than the wind."
He dropped from his horse at midday, wearied and exhausted with his sport. After dining, he sought repose and sent his attendants away to rest. At the altar he offered a prayer to the gods and then went off to rest himself.
"The heaviness of sleep seized upon the prince in the hour when Ra is crowned. He found the majesty of this revered god speaking in his own voice, even as a father speaks to his son, saying:
" 'Truly, I see thee, I behold thee, my son. Thothmes, I am thy father, Heru-Rhut} who will give thee this kingdom. Thou shalt lift up its red crown and the land shall be thine throughout its whole extent. The diadem of the god shall shine upon thee, food from Egypt tmd costly presents from strange lands shall be given thee !' "
The dream came to an end with the urgent request to dig the Sphinx out of its sandy tomb, if the young prince wished to have the promised crown bestowed upon him.
Thothmes dutifully obeyed the command received in his dream and set many men to the task of clearing the sand which filled the deep court and muffled the Breast of the Sphinx.
Heru-Khut, "the Rising Sun," Spirit or god of the Spinx, faithfully kept his promise in turn. Over the very heads of his elder brothers the prince received the Pharaonic crown as Thothmes IV and led armies out of Egypt which won victories wherever they went. His empire stretched from far-off